13 Apr 2016 321 views
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photoblog image Bethlehem



From the north-eastern side one enters Bethlehem via the suburb of Beit Sahour. On a late afternoon, we are on our way to a site, referred to as the Shepherd's Fields. Yes, there are cats in Bethlehem.


Bethlehem is for the most part a Palestinian city and very close to Jerusalem. Many inhabitants of Bethlehem make their economic contribution in Jerusalem. They have to cross the West Bank barriers to go to Jerusalem. Naturally a source of irritation. More about this stuff at a later stage.



comments (14)

  • Ray
  • United States
  • 13 Apr 2016, 02:14
Is there a lot of building in progress in this city, Louis?
Louis: Not that I have noticed, Ray.
  • Martine
  • France
  • 13 Apr 2016, 04:02
Jolie vue sur la ville. Où est-ce ?
Louis: C'est à Bethléem en Israël, Martine
Amazing how a place with such history, kind of looks like a typical city at first glance!
Louis: That is the reason that I made this posting. What happened with the birth of Christ, left no traces. We know from Luke in the Bible that after the birth, the child was put in a manger. A manger is a wooden or stone (in those days) feeding trough. The manger could have been placed in the open, in a cave or in a stable for animals. It is reasonable to accept that the manger doesn't exist anymore. If it was in a cave or grotto, which one? There are hundreds of them in and around Bethlehem. In a stable? They didn't build grand stables to house their animals, so it would be long gone - if the birth happened in a building. The shepherds who received the message from the angels and visited Jesus in His manger, were somewhere in the field. There is actually nothing to show for all the history of the place. There are churches built to commemorate the historical events, but all you see is a fairly recently built opulent building - and there are not so many of them around in Bethlehem.
So, over the ages, the town developed into a city. In 70AD the Romans had their fill of the Jews and they razed the country. Many cities and towns were flattened. Jews that survived, holed themselves up in isolated places or fled the country. This led to the Arabs taking over what was left, making places like Bethlehem and Nazareth, Palestinian cities in modern speak. The Arabs in turn also persecuted the remaining Jews from time to time. After becoming Muslims, the Arabs also had it in for Christians.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 13 Apr 2016, 06:47
It looks - sort of - how I imagined it would be Louis.
Louis: You are right Chris. There is no reason to expect anything else than a modern city.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 13 Apr 2016, 07:23
Oh, modern Bethlehem - yes, I recall this Palestinian city . in former years they experienced better times when the lots of tourists came for a visit.
Louis: De toeristen komen noch wel. De trefkracht is welles beperkt tot de weinige plekken wat de geschiedkundige gebeuren herdenken. Heelwat toeristen is bang om achter de prikkeldraad gordijn van de Westbank in te gaan.
They must have got though a few tins of paint on those curb stones Louis.
Louis: True, but the roads are less painted than in most countries, gutteridge. Maybe it evens out.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 13 Apr 2016, 07:58
Not much traffic, Louis
Louis: You had me look up the EXIF of the picture. It was 15:00, but I believe the main reason would be that this is suburbia near the city outskirts.
Quite impressive to see that there is not a soul around Louis! Is this due to the time of the day?
Louis: You had me look up the EXIF of the picture. It was 15:00, but I believe the main reason would be that this is suburbia near the city outskirts.
I looked everywhere for cats, for goodness sake, then realized you were talking about the machine.
Louis: Heh, heh - caught someone at least. Thanks for spotting the Cat, Mary. The other viewers just won't admit ...
Presumably it now being a Palestinian city the Bible link takes only a small part of day to day life here.
Louis: True, Brian. More on this subject with Friday's post.
Much changed since the days of Christ, I suspect!
Louis: You are right about that, Tom. Few Jews, mostly gentiles. The architecture also changed somewhat. smile
Not quite as I would have imagined, but have read your extensive explanation to Elizabeth
Louis: Thanks Martin. Bethlehem has also become a Jewish/Palestinian flashpoint.
this is not what i expect to see when i think about Bethlehem Louis... i enjoyed reading your reply to Elizabeth...
it was wonderful information... thank you....petersmile
Louis: Thanks peter. I also learned a lot during my visit to Israel. With reference to Bethlehem, one tends to think Jesus was born in a stable, but actually there is no evidence to that idea. But Hallmark had to make their money smile
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 Apr 2016, 22:26
Hard to believe - I read with interest your reply to Elizabeth.
Louis: Thank you blackdog.

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camera COOLPIX P500
exposure mode shutter priority
shutterspeed 1/640s
aperture f/4.2
sensitivity ISO160
focal length 8.1mm
Studio cameraStudio camera
Shepherd fieldsShepherd fields
Swallow's nestSwallow's nest